esmaspäev, veebruar 25, 2008

the speech

I was a bit worried that President Ilves' speech last night would drown the celebratory mood of the Republic of Estonia's 90th anniversary in paranoia about the 'neighbor to the East' -- the source of all that is unhealthy in the world, Bolshevism, despotism, pelmeenid.

Thankfully, the only foreign country explicitly mentioned in Härra Ilves' speech was Ancient Greece. And that is how it should be, for despite the wishes of some, this country is not defined by its problems or its fears, but by its hopes and faith in progress.

Ilves touched on some relevant political themes -- energy, demographics, traffic problems, labor shortage, the switch to an intelligence-based economy. He also drew strength from appealing to Estonian national motifs -- the "blueberry forests of summer," the "stony book" on a "slab of stone" where is written the story of Estonia.

By the end of the speech, I felt so good, I was even happy to sit through the 'pingviini paraad' of notables and celebrities. Go read the speech for yourself here and let me know what you think.

6 kommentaari:

Kristopher ütles ...

I was making dinner and heard only the one slightly gloomy section about traffic deaths and drivers playing Russian roulette (aha - he did mention Russia by name :)).

I was glad to read the speech later and find out it was in fact very positive.

In any case, I love it when political figures use their bandwidth to talk about specific domestic problems and say, hey, WE gotta change that.

Big points in my book.

Giustino ütles ...

(aha - he did mention Russia by name :)).

He also mentioned Finland, using your criteria:

We can easily shrug off our responsibility, go to the seaside and try to catch a magic golden fish who would grant our wishes. But in ten years, we would be standing there empty-handed and hungry. No, it does not pay to try to catch the golden fish. Even if some people believe it is called Nokia in Finnish. Golden fish belong to fairy-tales, and the sea of life is full of real fish. Bigger and smaller, but all of them real and waiting to be caught. Well, let us catch them.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

That a president cares about women over 35 who can't find a man/husband is astonishing. I mean as part of the anniversary speech.
But in fact it is a small country, and Giustino, your are on the way to fix this problem ;-), the birthrate already increased since your arrival.

erueestlane ütles ...

Should your woman ever treat you with disrespect, you can quote this from the president's speech: "... A recent research conducted by the Tartu University Women’s Clinic tells us that nearly half of the childless women over 35 have no family. Not because they have been bent on career or forced to place work before children for economic reasons. No. Those women have not met a partner, a husband, a man with whom they would have wished or been able to have a child.

Why? There are no men. Quite literally. Every year, more than five hundred men perish in the age of 20-39. Among younger population, the mortality of men exceeds the mortality of women by four to five times. A major part of those deaths were not inevitable, they were caused by an accident, an injury, or poisoning.

In the first seven years of this century, we have lost nearly four and a half thousand young men. This is almost equal to the personnel of the Estonian Defence Forces. Over four thousand families that were not to be. Nearly ten thousand children never born, because there were no fathers..."

opstops ütles ...

For me the best part of the speech was the fact that Ilves used very direct style to talk to the people - the use of "You" in the speech is not very commonly used among politicians here. A bit sad that the tension got to the president and at times he messed up some sentences by stuttering. And of course the fact that the situation on Estonian roads got a big part to play in the speech shows how far have thing gone when the president of the nation gives such a speech on a national holiday.

Kerstin ütles ...

Very positive and inspiring speech this year.

I liked the word "hää" which was constantly used. It gave a feeling of a down-to-earth and warm man.

The mentioning of lonely 35-year-old women certainly affected the listeners and hopefully affected some women to look after their sons and men more than they have before.

The whole event was very pleasant this year.